Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The spirit of the Argentina senior men’s team players seems to have been bolstered in the ongoing FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela after their national football team emerged champions of the recently-concluded FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Argentina had last won the coveted trophy in 1986 under the leadership of great Deigo Maradona. The Argentina hockey team is also spirited by the feat of their junior team that won the Junior Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar in 2021.

The team’s spirit, high confidence and spirit were reflected in the high-octane match against formidable Australia in the ongoing World Cup when they held mighty kookaburras to a thrilling 3-3 draw in a Pool A game at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

The mighty Australians got a taste of their own medicine of attacking-style hockey as Argentina players gave them a good run for their money throughout the game. There was not much to separate between both sides in the game. In fact, Australia were fortunate enough to survive the scare of defeat thanks to the last moment equalizer by Blake Govers.

Argentina coach Mariano Ronconi is hopeful that his guys will definitely draw inspiration from their national football and junior hockey teams’ feats to give their best during the marquee event.

As per Ronconi, the FIFA World Cup title is a historic moment and it has united the country like never before. It has helped his senior hockey team to take part in the ongoing World Cup fully pumped up.

“The players are all inspired by their national football team’s incredible feat in the recently-concluded FIFA World Cup. They will also be bolstered by their juniors’ feats that emerged champions of the Junior Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar in 2021,” said Ranconi.

“Those were great achievements. We have two players from the junior team in the senior squad now. Hopefully, our senior team will be motivated enough to emulate those incredible achievements,” he signed off.